Ancestral Math

I first saw the listing at right about a year ago, but it feels a lot more relevant now that I’ve been doing extensive family history research. I have recently found the names of many ancestors (though most of them I have not yet confirmed). Still, this list that shows how ancestors multiply as we look back in time reminds me that I’ve barely scratched the surface.

For example, as it says on the list above, I have 1,024 8x-great grandparents. In my recent research, I have found 18 of them. Out of 2,048 9x-great grandparents, I’ve found 17. Out of 4,096 10x-great grandparents, I have found 9. Adding on to this list, I see that I must have had 8,192 11x-great grandparents, but I can name only 4. And I have nothing further back in time than that generation.

All of the ancestors I have discovered are Italian — no surprise there. And I have first and last names for some, first names only for others, hometowns for some, and dates (births, deaths, marriages) for others. But there are so, so many I know nothing about. Clearly, I have a whole lot of research yet to do, if I ever hope to “meet” more of my ancestors.

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